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Thursday, February 4, 1999

At midday Nasdaq is sinking, stocks are low; Morrison Knudsen's got a new CEO; a joint venture is in the pipeline for ENI and RAO Gazprom.


U.S. stocks were trading lower at midday, although up from their session lows. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was faring slightly better than the broader market, while loss-leading big tech stocks anchored the

Nasdaq Composite Index

deep in negative territory. Internet stocks pared morning losses and were near their opening levels.

European bourses closed modestly lower after opening higher on

news of the

Bank of England's

surprise 50-basis-point reduction of its benchmark interest rate, which now stands at 5.5%.

Asian markets closed mixed, with Japan's


off 74.46 to close at 14,086.85 and Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

gaining 18.80 to 9438.65. In Malaysia, Finance Minister

Daim Zainuddin

ended a ban that kept foreign portfolio investors from taking money out of the country.

For more markets action and news, click




(BUD) - Get Free Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share, about 2 cents over expectations.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber

(GT) - Get Free Report

earned 74 cents a share in the fourth quarter, excluding gains from the sale of assets, a penny under the average of estimates polled by

First Call

. Separately, the company announced that 980 jobs at its original plant in Gadsen, Ala. will be cut as the plant stops making tires and focuses on producing rubber for other Goodyear plants. Yesterday the company announced it will acquire 10% of

Sumitomo Rubber Industries

and take over the Japanese tire maker's U.S. and European operations.



(KSS) - Get Free Report

will buy 33 stores from


, which is liquidating its assets after more than three years in bankruptcy.

Chairman and controlling shareholder

Dennis R. Washington

is stepping up the plate as president and CEO of construction and engineering firm

Morrison Knudsen



For more news on companies and stocks, click





second-quarter earnings dropped 54%, but, at 17 cents a share, still came out a penny ahead of analysts' expectations.



will equip its


PC, which the company markets solely in Japan, with

Advanced Micro Devices'

(AMD) - Get Free Report


processor. Read


report on AMD's disappearing act yesterday at the Monty conference.

Internet analyst

Jonathan Cohen

has left

Merrill Lynch


to join online investment bank

Wit Capital


For more tech news and commentary, click



Italian energy firm


(E) - Get Free Report

and Russia's

RAO Gazprom

are forming a joint venture to build a natural gas pipeline between Russia and Turkey for about $3 billion, according to

The Wall Street Journal


U.K. pharma giant

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Free Report

is in talks to unload at a discount its pharmacy-benefits business,

Diversified Pharmaceutical Services

, to a drugstore chain, according to

The Wall Street Journal


U.K. hotel operator


said an unnamed suitor has made a $1.76 billion takeover offer. In late January

The Times

of London had written that Stakis was in talks with betting shop and hotel operator

Ladbroke Group


For more international news and commentary, click


General News

Labor Department

figures show the number of initial jobless claims fell 9,000 last week to 292,000, the fourth drop in five weeks.

Israeli warplanes fired air-to-surface missiles at a village in southwest Lebanon after two rockets were fired toward Israel.

Washington Mayor

Anthony Williams

will rehire the aide who resigned in the face of public outcry over his use of the word "niggardly" to describe his office's fiscal policy.


You're outta there! Three-time

Cy Young

award winner

Tom Seaver

will replace

Tim McCarver


New York Mets

games on New York's



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